Top Crypto News -03/08/2018

UBS: Bitcoin Is Too ‘Unstable and Limited’ to Function as Money


Investment bank UBS thinks bitcoin is neither money nor a viable asset class – not yet at least.

The Switzerland-based company’s assessment was featured in a research report on the world’s largest crypto by market capitalization, which was circulated to clients and released on Thursday.

Published by UBS strategists, the report concludes that bitcoin “falls short of criteria that need to be satisfied to be considered money.” It explains,

“Fixed supply and unusual demand dynamics make the system susceptible to high price volatility, in turn making it difficult for bitcoin to step into the role of money or to be a viable new asset class.”

However, the authors don’t rule out the possibility that bitcoin could one day become these things.

They argue that if bitcoin can achieve scalability and regulatory support, it could one day become “a viable payment mechanism and/or a legitimate asset class in which even the most conservative and traditional investors can participate.”

Likewise, they note their plans to “keep on top of these developments,” as “many” see promise in cryptocurrency’s underlying blockchain technology.

According to the report, the research was the banking giant’s answer to its investors, who are becoming increasingly interested in the cryptocurrency space.

“We have received many questions on the subject, which we hope to address in this educational piece,” the authors wrote in the publication.

The authors’ findings were based on comparisons of bitcoin with “macro variables and its performance against various asset classes.” They frequently draw parallels between bitcoin and online payments provider PayPal, and conclude that bitcoin “diffusion” could follow trends in online payments.

This is not the first time UBS has expressed a cautious view on cryptocurrency. In 2017, it declared cryptocurrencies a “speculative bubble” in a report due to sharp rises in price at the time. Nonetheless, the bank has consistently been bullish on blockchain, and advised investors in the same report that “blockchain is likely to have a significant impact” on a variety of industries.

UBS image via Shutterstock
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SBI Plans Derivatives Platform, Huobi Eyes 30% Korean Market, Thai Four-Crypto ATM Unveiled


SBI Plans Derivatives Platform

SBI Plans Derivatives Platform, Huobi Eyes 30% Korean Market, Thai Four-Crypto ATM UnveiledSBI Crypto Investment, a subsidiary of Japanese financial services group SBI Holdings, has acquired a 12% stake in North Carolina-based Clear Markets, Nikkei reported Tuesday.

While the acquisition price was not disclosed, the news outlet estimates that the stake “is likely worth about 1 billion yen ($9 million),” elaborating:

Although digital currencies are more volatile than other asset classes, a derivatives market for them that can hedge against risk remains undeveloped. SBI Crypto therefore wants to build a platform that will allow institutional investors to smoothly trade these instruments.

Last month, SBI Virtual Currencies, the crypto exchange unit of SBI Holdings, opened its Vtrade service to the public following a limited launch in June. The exchange currently supports XRP, BCH, and BTC, but plans to add ETH in the near future.

Thai Multi-Crypto ATM

SBI Plans Derivatives Platform, Huobi Eyes 30% Korean Market, Thai Four-Crypto ATM UnveiledThai cryptocurrency exchange Coin Asset unveiled its crypto ATM at the Hybrid Summit on July 28 and 29, according to Prachachat Turakij newspaper.

CEO Sivanus Yamdee explained that the ATM allows customers to purchase and sell BTC, ETH, LTC, and BCH in amounts as low as 100 baht (~US$3). The company plans to add more coins in the future based on demand from customers. The ATM also allows withdrawals in Thai baht.

The machine has a large touch screen and prints out a receipt after each transaction.

Coin Asset has reportedly applied for a license with Thai Securities and Exchange Commission; the agency began accepting applications last week.

Huobi Plans to Achieve 30% Korean Market Share

SBI Plans Derivatives Platform, Huobi Eyes 30% Korean Market, Thai Four-Crypto ATM UnveiledChinese exchange Huobi is planning to aggressively pursue the Korean market, according to Asia Economic news outlet. The exchange launched its trading platform in Korea in March.

At the Huobi Carnival 2018 event on August 2 in Seoul, Kim Young-chul, head of the Strategic Planning Division of Huobi Korea, announced the company’s long-term strategy. He said:

The number of members has grown rapidly to 200,000 members within two months after the opening of the virtual currency exchange…We aim to achieve 30% market share in the next year.

In addition, Kim revealed that Huobi Korea will conduct various blockchain-based businesses alongside its exchange business. It will also actively recruit talented people. In February, Huobi Korea announced that it was looking for an “Innovation Business Team Leader,” a position with a minimum annual salary of 100 million won (~$88,596). “This policy will continue…We will hire more talented people in the industry,” Kim detailed.

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Philippine SEC Approves Draft Rules for ICOs and Crypto


All Entities Embarking on ICOs to Register With the SEC First

In February, reported that the Philippine SEC was developing a regulatory framework to govern cryptocurrency transactions. At the time, the financial regulator emphasized the need for legislation focused on ICOs in particular. SEC Chairman Emilio Aquino told reporters on August 2, in Manila, regulations will be set for the sale of tokens or cryptocurrencies issued by companies for the purpose of raising funds, the news wire reported.

Philippine SEC Approves Draft Rules for ICOs and Crypto

The SEC stated 12 points in the proposed rules released on August 2. “Under the draft rules, the tokens issued by the startups or companies conducting the ICO may follow the nature of a security under Section 3.1 of the Securities Regulation Code, and therefore, these should be registered with the Commission and necessary disclosures need to be made for the protection of the investing public.” The SEC press release mentioned.

Study of the white papers of various ICOs that have been conducted within the Philippines shows that the proponents of such ICOs claim that the tokens being issued are not securities and are therefore not under the jurisdiction of the SEC, the regulator said.  “Allowing this practice is proven dangerous to the investing public who are left with no clear recourse once the said ICOs are proven to be scams. Therefore, the SEC will put the burden of proving that the tokens issued through an ICO in the hands of the proponents by presuming that the tokens are securities unless proven otherwise,” the SEC stated in a press release. “The proposed rules are benchmarked from the rules in various jurisdictions and markets,” it concluded.

“The bottom line is we are looking at whether we would allow retail investors to participate,” Emilio Aquino told reporters on July 30. He also said the SEC requires all entities embarking on ICOs to register with the SEC first, the Philippine Star reported.

Aquino, who was appointed in June, is facing a new regulatory environment with the proliferation of cryptocurrencies, the newspaper outlined. But as former commissioner, he has been at the forefront of the SEC’s crackdown on investment scams. Aquino said the principle of scamming always involves the promise of investment returns that are too good to be true. In tightening the rules on ICOs, the SEC determined that cryptocurrencies are securities because they include an investment contract whereby a person invests his money and is led to expect profits.

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